Joy and I didn't have the grand-girls this weekend so we started a rather lonely Saturday morning with coffee in the living room. We turned on C-Span and encountered the start of Glenn Beck's Restore Our Honor rally (click on the link to view the entire event) at the D.C. Lincoln Memorial. For the time we had before leaving the house, I listened carefully not only for content but for word usage.
Otherwise the Ozark Uncle listened for the "Jesus" word somewhere in Beck's comments about his being anointed but never heard the word used. During the 45-minutes or so that he was able to watch, the Ozark Uncle only heard the "Jesus" word once. Sarah Palin didn't use it either but a Christian minister's prayer, the content of which didn't include the word, ended with "In Jesus's name we pray."
Thrift Store Volunteering
Joy and I then left home to spend our Saturday volunteering at the Thrift Haven (TH) thrift store. We try to get there not long after it opens as 10 a.m. and stay until 6 p.m. when it closes. The store benefits the Fair Haven Children's Home in nearby Strafford, and the Home is operated by Springfield's Water Mill Church of Christ. So, the store has a very happy and peaceful environment, and the Ozark Uncle enjoys being down there except the piped in A Capella church music is not one his listening favorites. He grew up with old time gospel music accompanied by an acoustic guitar.
My wife, Joy, has been the TH volunteer "toy lady" for almost three years. When she broke her wrist this past spring, the Ozark Uncle went down to help her and he's been going ever since. Well, back in the hot warehouse off the side of the store, Joy and I sort through all the donations of toys and games, select the best for sale and then pack the rest for shipment to other countries (there's an irony there that the Ozark Uncle has to gloss over for time's sake at this moment).
The Ozark Uncle's "station" at TH is close to the door between the warehouse and the store, and early in the afternoon, an elderly lady popped her head in this "employees only" door and asked for help. The lady was definitely in her 70s and maybe a little older. Her layered clothing was of the type that disguised any perception of her economic status--she could have been poor and she could have been rich. Her grey hair was slightly unkempt but neat enough--beauty salons were definitely not a line item in her monthly budget. Eccentric, that's what the Ozark Uncle perceived. Please read on.
The lady was looking for a special kind of lamp base and wanted to know what we had in the warehouse. Well, it wasn't the Ozark Uncle's department, but he proceeded to help her look around the warehouse. The manager of the day (a former house parent at the Children's Home), strolled through and joined our search. The lady had a very specific idea of what she wanted, and after turning down several that we found, she selected one lamp base resting in the $1.50 box still unpriced.
As I proceeded to place a price tag on the lamp, the lady started to testify to me. In a nutshell, she told me of visions she had received from God. In her visions, God had told her that the people who ran "the government" were going to be replaced soon, and God was going to make a series of changes because of what we've become.
"Have you written this down?" I said.
"No, it's all here in my heart." as you placed a hand on her chest. "And I'll tell you God says Jesus is coming soon."
I don't know what came over me but I threw both my arms up in the air like an Assemblies of God worshiper. Excitedly I said, "You said the Jesus word!!" and I spun in a circle.
The Point of All This
The lady accepted my emotional outburst with a seeming mixture of pleasure, shock, and bewilderment. While she no doubt had told other people of her visions, probably no one had reacted quite like the Ozark Uncle. We had a few more words of encouragement to each other, she thanked me for my help, and she exited the warehouse back into the store.
Those readers who've read some of the Ozark Uncle's early postings to his other blog, The Brown Perspective, know he can take an encounter like this with the elderly lady and cogitate on it for quite a while. Well, working in the warehouse at TH is not terribly taxing on one's brain, so he mulled over both the Beck rally and the Elderly lady off and on the rest of the day.
A fundamental question lodged in the Ozark Uncle's brain--Whose vision is more credible, that of Glenn Beck or that of The Lady. Should one even try to judge whether these visions occurred or not? The Ozark Uncle is certainly not going to try to judge. The Ozark Uncle is better off having seen some of Glenn Beck's rally and hearing this elderly lady testimony.
Once at home last night, I noted on Facebook that inspirational blogger, Terry Hampton, had sent a link to a CNN interview with a long-time religion journalist, Cathleen Falsani, about whether Obama is a Christian. Another link that has the interview transcribed is one Obama's Fascinating Interview with Cathleen Falsani. To all my friends, I try to watch the links you suggest regardless of their political slant. Please do yourself a favor and watch this seven minute video. This journalist is framing the debate on the "Christian" question. My perspective is that if this question is going to be a litmus test, start lining up all those you trust, watch their eyes, and then start asking them how then feel about the "Jesus" word.